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Canal Cruising Skills - Running Aground

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Tue Dec 4, 2012 at 2:02pm

Should I worry about running aground?

Running aground is not something to worry about as most narrowboats will run aground at some stage.  It is worth knowing what to do in the event that your canal boat runs aground.  Running aground happens when a narrow boat gets stuck on the bottom of the canal or river bed.

So when am I likely to run aground?

The most likely time that you may run aground is when you are going past another boat on the canal or river and it makes you veer off to one side slightly.  It is therefore more important to slow down when passing another boat.

Narrow Canals Close to Venetian Marina - Places that you may struggle to navigate with a deep drafted narrowboat.

The llangollen canal which is very close to Venetian Marina only 1 lock on the shropshire union canal and a set of stair case locks (4 in total) called the Hurluston Locks (this is is at Hurleston Junction on where the Shropshire Union Canal meets the Llangollen Canal) is known to be very shallow.  In places it is between 2ft and 2ft 3in so deep drafted narrow boats struggle to go down the whole canal.

So what should I do if I do run aground in my narrowboat?

Most boats' draft is deeper at the stern and most canals are deepest in the middle so with this in mind to get your boat off the bottom on the canal and river bed it may be best to try and move your boat in to the middle and away from the bank.

With this in mind the first thing that you should think about doing is reversing your canal boat slightly to see if that will move you off the bottom of the canal or river.  Sometimes this will work, but sometimes it will churn up the bottom and drag debris into the propeller.

If this doesn't work and move the boat then it is best to try and pole the boat off the bottom. 

Other Information:

Shropshire Union Canal Society

The Llangollen Canal

Our blog is for information purposes only and Venetian Marina cannot accept any liability.

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